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My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imagination. A simple raindrop, the smell of a trash heap, or the touch of a bee's stinger is enough to immerse me into a new story idea. My passion is writing and my inspiration is everywhere. So far, my focus has been in short stories, however I have many novels floating around in my brain. Recently I have also been handed the opportunity to review the works of others and share them with everyone that reads my blog. Feel free to find me on facebook (facebook.com/esselprattwriting) the web (EsselPratt.com)or follow me on twitter (@EsselPratt).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Author Interview: Hilary Shepard -- Shesus

Recently I had the pleasure of reading a fantastic book called Shesus, an amazing book by Hilary Shepard.  Although it is her first book, she has quickly become one of my favorite authors.  Not only could I not put the book down, but I was able to absorb myself into the words and actually feel for the characters within -- not a task that is easy to pull off for a writer.  

When I was given the opportunity to interview Hilary for my blog, I was beyond excited.  As evident below, Hilary cares deeply for Shesus and the characters that she created.  Her passion is something that I admire deeply, and look up to as a writer myself.  If she ever makes an appearance at a convention near me, I will definitely need to meet her, maybe even get her to autograph my copy of Shesus.
Now, without further adieu, I present my interview with Hilary Shepard!

Essel Pratt: Hilary, Shesus is quite possibly one of the best books I have read this year.  You can really tell that you put not only a lot of time into the story, but a lot of your own personal feelings and love as well.  What, in addition to childhood dreams, inspired you to write Shesus?
Hilary Shepard : So glad you loved my book! Although SHESUS was based on a series of re-occurring dreams I had, the story was one that came together after a series of events. A few years ago, my best friend Daryl Hannah and I started writing an environmental book together and she really opened my eyes to so many alarming facts about what could happen to this planet if we continue on this path. Then four people in my family, including me got cancer. Facing a life threatening illness really made me think about what legacy I wanted to leave, what story I wanted to tell. I began to formulate a story that would appeal to kids and grown-ups alike. Kids are our future, and it's their planet to inherit! I hoped to inspire them and to open their eyes to the ways we are poisoning our planet and ourselves. 

The final straw was when a girlfriend of mine took me to see a 90 year old psychic in Las Vegas, an ex-showgirl she had been going to for years. She told me some stuff that no one could possibly know, and then she just wouldn't stop talking about this book I was going to write that was going to be a huge inspiration to people and that was going to make a lot of money and do a lot of good for the world. I was kind of taken aback as I'd never told anyone my plans to write this book. Then she wrote down something on a tiny piece of paper and handed it to me. She said “I don't know what this word means, but this is it." I unfurled the paper and the word SHESUS was written on it. I almost fell over. That was the character from my dreams' name that I had never told anyone. I thought, “Damn it! Now I have to write this book!" I had several operations to face, and I used my time in bed to write SHESUS. 

Essel Pratt: I love that, despite the futuristic world’s dystpoic state, you began with a slice of Utopia.  In many futuristic dystopian tales, the heroes are in search of the Promised Land.  In Shesus, the heroes take an almost opposite adventure as they seek out the dystopia in order to save their Protected Land and the population.  In a sense, it made the journey seem even more important and causes the reader to feel more empathetic for Bugbee and TheRose.  Was this a conscious decision, or did the story evolve on its own?

Hilary Shepard : That's very astute of you to notice! I wanted the readers to experience how magical Eden is and what a tragedy it would be to lose the last bit of nature left on earth. I'm glad you felt that this added to the empathy the reader would feel for their quest!

Essel Pratt: One of the unique aspects of the book is the way you named the characters.  Almost everyone shares their name with someone famous from pulp culture.  How did you decide on the names, and which was your favorite?

Hilary Shepard : I really noticed our cultures's obsession with celebrity getting worse and worse, so when I imagined a future world I thought for sure people would be named after "olden-time" celebs.  I thought it would be funny to create characters that were totally opposite than their namesake's! My most favorite is the annoying hyper active lonely kid who is named Bradpitt! 

Essel Pratt: One of my favorite characters was Seven.  He is mouthy, harsh, truthful, and defiant, yet he loves TheRose and Bugbee unconditionally it seems.  What inspired him?

 Hilary Shepard : I actually found a baby in the woods when I was 5. I told my mother who thought I was pretending and I kept her it all day my room! To this day I feel I saved the babies life, although my family sees it as kidnapping! I thought it would be great for them to find and save a little baby, and as they are the innocents to the ways of the world, he could be the tech savvy one! I can't tell you how many times a toddler has schooled me on tech issues! I love humor, even in the darkest times so 7 is the comic relief! Both my daughters are very funny and wise and I wrote down all their funny sayings since they were little! 7 directly quotes them sometimes!

Essel Pratt: TheRose and Bugbee were two of the most believable characters I have seen portrayed in a book, in a long time.  Their curiosity, heroism, and “must succeed” attitude are amazing.  In fact, I often thought of my own two daughters, who are 12 and 16, while I was reading.  Did you find yourself putting portions of your childhood in their actions and thoughts? 

Hilary Shepard : I based TheRose and Bugbee on my two daughters, as well as me and my sister. My relationship with my older sister growing up was very similar- I looked up to her and she protected and loved me. My two girls are very  much the same! We all even speak the secret “sister speak" language for real , that they do in the book! We drive everyone crazy trying to understand us!

Essel Pratt:  Shesus has an underlying tone of the preservation of the Earth, and gives us a glimpse at what the world might look like if we damage our planet to the point in which it begins to fight back and we must shelter ourselves from the devastation we caused.  However, you hinted in a few spots, such as where weeds grew from the cracked road, that despite all of the pain we force on the earth, she can still heal.  How close do you feel we are to forcing ourselves into a world like you created within Shesus?  Do we still have time to reverse the devastation before we do too much damage?

Hilary Shepard : I truly believe we can reverse the damage done to our earth and ourselves, but not until everyone realizes  we're all on the same team! I hate when the media portrays people like Daryl as clueless hippie nuts! She and all her fellow Eco warriors are just trying to help everyone understand how harmful we are being to the only place we have to live! The earth is very resilient though- I spend a lot of time on the Big Island of Hawaii and you should see what manages to thrive and grow through all the black lava! I do think we will hit a breaking point very soon from which we can't return though, and I hope I'm wrong!

Essel Pratt:  As I read Shesus, I couldn’t help but think about who would play the characters in a movie based on the book.  Who would you like to see portray some of the characters?  Would some of them differ from their namesakes in the book?
Hilary Shepard : I know the characters so well and have a very clear view of who I'd like to play most of them in a movie. I picture my daughter Scarlett playing TheRose and I think Cher would be awesome as JJ! I'd love Adam Levine to be Johnnyseed and I'm open to suggestions on who'd make a great Budseed! Daryl wants to direct the movies and she and I share the same vision. I know the movie will be epic! 

Essel Pratt:  What is next in your writing career, do you have anything special planned?

Hilary Shepard : I am not writing anything until I get SHESUS to the point where it's very successful ! Promoting this book I really believe in is my first priority now!  I live and breathe my stories, so I don't want to leave my SHESUS world just yet!

Essel Pratt:  Are there any upcoming projects that you would like to share or plug?

Hilary Shepard : I just finished shooting a hilarious TV pilot starring Rosannah Arquette where I play her wise cracking friend! We got to improvise a lot and if it gets picked up I'd be in it and a write episodes too. It's kind of a female Larry David "Curb your Enthusiasm" and I had a blast! Fingers crossed you'll see it on TV next year.

Essel Pratt:  okay, I have one final question.  If you had to live out the rest of your life as either Divatox or JJ, which would you choose and why?  

Hilary Shepard : I love Divatox, the bratty evil Queen I played on the Power Rangers but I actually am a lot like JJ and ( I played the bass and sand and wrote all the songs on the album American Girls my all girl band , American Girls did in 1984) and music is still a big part if my life so JJ wins!

Essel Pratt: Thank you for taking time to answer my questions and share your thoughts, and thank you for writing such an amazing book.  Shesus became an instant favorite before I had even reached the half-way mark, I cannot recommend it enough.  

Hilary Shepard : Thank you so much for your enthusiastic love  for my book Shesus! My greatest wish is that people read it and are inspired by it. My all-time favorite book is "to Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, so when you compared me to her, I was in heaven!

I want to thank Hilary for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions.  If you have not had the chance to read Shesus, please click the link below and purchase your copy today!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Zombiepalooza Radio: Resurrection

I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Jackie Chin, of Zombiepalooza Radio.  Not only is she a great host, but she is a great person overall.  She cares about her guests and her listeners more than most radio hosts out there.  So, when I saw that her show needed a little help, I had no choice but to share it.

If you have a moment, please feel free to check out her gofundme campaign, you can click the picture above, and consider helping her out.

"Hello to all you zombophiles, and others!
I'm Jackie Chin, the Creator and Host of Zombiepalooza Radio; probably one of the most unique radio programs on or off the internet. Although most of the material is zombie themed the actual content is about the authors, actors, musicians, artists and the entire spectrum of entertainment venues this encompasses. I'm pretty certain most of you know this so I'm going to turn things over to our Executive Producer.


My name is K R Chin, better known as Storm to most of you; I'm the Executive Producer of Zombiepalooza Radio. This means that most of the time I stay behind the scenes while Jackie, our beloved Host and Producer/Director, handles the tasks associated with scouting for and recruiting the guests, in addition to running the show itself.

It's become rather more complicated lately

You see, we carry the entire costs of the show ourselves and my regular job simply doesn't pay enough to take care of it. I did have a couple of outside sources of revenue but those have fallen by the wayside. Although one of them did say that if business picks up again they'd put me back on contract in a moment. Which brings us to why this page has been put up.

Right now, corporate sponsorships are hard to come by, and the few which have, have wanted a hand on the helm. This would mean that Jackie would have to take control of the show from the AUDIENCE, you kind folks, and put it into the hands of someone who's motives are unknown to us .... and perhaps not in the best interests of the AUDIENCE.

Jackie won't have anything to do with selling you folks out because YOU are the reason for the show's popularity.

So now we're forced to do something we never imagined we'd have to do .... as with public radio and television, in order for Jackie to maintain her neutrality and responsiveness to the AUDIENCE we need to ask for your help. We need donations to keep it running for the next year and for Jackie to be able to make it to the venues she's been asked to carry the show to for live broadcasts. She'd also like to begin having contests with the ability to supply the prizes on a more timely basis rather than having the winners wait until we can get the prize out to them.

Using rough estimates, we figure that the average cost per month, for the show is probably right around 400.00 per month. Four thousand eight hundred dollars per year; quite a low figure for ANY radio show. Averaging out the cost between the lowest and highest cost for transportation, a nice hotel room (she doesn't crave extravagant but she'd like to avoid the NoTell Motel with Norman for the night clerk) food, shipping of her equipment and local transportation it came out to about two thousand for the two large shows she's been asked to this year.

Could we use more for the show?

But what we're hoping will happen, is that a corporate sponsor will take notice, AGREE with Jackie's terms and step forward to help with the production.

We're not currently planning on stopping production but it certainly is a possibility.

So please, take a look and see if there's anything you can do to help, later on, after I've had the chance to finalize a few things, I'll be posting a list of incentives for those who are able to make a donation ... so keep your eyes on this page."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Evil Jester Presents: The Wait is Over!

Since the initial announcement, I have been anxiously awaiting the debut of "Evil Jester Presents" the debut comic from Evil Jester Comics.  Although the wait was long, the team over at Grant-Day Media has kept their fans up to date on the progress while keeping the excitement fresh in our minds.  All until the below post was updated all over Facebook:

"THE WAIT IS OVER. Evil Jester Comics is proud to present our first full color, gorgeously illustrated comic book! Featuring terrifying tales by an ALL-STAR LINE UP, including New York Times Bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, International Bestselling author William F. Nolan, Bestselling author Jack Ketchum, and Bram Stoker Award Winning author Joe McKinney. With beautiful artwork by Marvel/DC/Dark Horse artists including Richard P. Clark, Felix Ruiz, Beni Lobel and more. Officially on sale at our website: http://www.eviljestercomics.com/! Find out why Evil Jester Presents is one of the most talked about indie horror comics of the year."

With names such as Jack Ketchum, William F. Nolan, and Joe McKinney, not only will the debut issue surely become a sought after collector's item, but also the start of a new error in horror comics.  We have seen the Golden Age,the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, the Atomic Era, and the Modern Age take the comic book industry by storm.  Not since the Silver Age have we seen the emergence of fantastical horror stories overtake the colorful pages of our favorite comics. In this new Crimson Age, Evil Jester Presents is sure to bring horror comics back to their reign where they will once again send shivers down the spines of those that dare flip through the pages under the dark blankets by the light of an LED flashlight.

To those that brave the fiends within the pages, be warned about the Evil Jester.  His handshake may be firm, his gaze may seem sincere, but within that hollow skull resides the power to take you on an unforgettable journey through his horrific world, where the dead live and the living die.  But don't let that scare you, just take along your favorite melee weapon and don't forget to double tap.  I am sure you will be fine! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: "Shesus" by Hilary Shepard

I am a sucker for dystopian adventures.  I don't know why, but there is something romantic about the treacherous journey to find an impossible slice of utopia. 

"Shesus", from the first glimpse, seemed to be exactly what I love in a dystopian story.  However, I soon found that I was wrong, in a good way.  What I found was that "Shesus" takes us on a different sort of Journey.  In fact, what we have is actually a utopian world surrounded by dystopia. Too often we are shown the devastation or government control, without seeing the beauty until the end.  That is where "Shesus" is different.

How can that be, you ask?

Simply put, the earth is in a constant state of repair.  It is the humans that are unintentionally forcing dystopia upon the Mother Earth.   In "Shesus" we are introduced to the last remnants of natural earth, within the Protected Forrest.  Those that still believe in the planet's healing powers, and strive to protect her from evil corporations that seek to control her embrace, are a limited force among those that have surrendered to living within the protected malls of the technological world. In this Young Adult novel, we are introduced to TheRose and Bugbee, two young intellectuals with a mission to save their protected land and share their utopia with the world.

"TheRose, 15, lives in isolation in the last protected forest of The Americas with her mother Mooma and 9 year old sister, Bugbee. When their mom vanishes, the girls are forced to venture into a world poisoned by ‘The Big Sick.’ Following the secret map encoded in Mooma’s beaded necklace, TheRose and Bugbee must navigate the strange mall dwellings that the last vestiges of mankind are forced to live in order to survive—intent on solving the mystery of their mother’s disappearance. In the process, they discover the real story behind their father’s death, who the legendary enigmatic character Shesus really is and why they are all being relentlessly pursued by the sinister and all—powerful Govercorp, as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance."

"Shesus" is filled with multi-layered  characters, each unique in their own ways.  Set in the year 2315, the futuristic tale is filled with so much nostalgia, that even those with a dislike for futuristic tales will enjoy the story within the pages.  Characters such as Janisjoplin (JJ), Johnyseed, Johnlennon, Darylhannah, and many more, reflect the celebrities after which they are named in glimpsing familiarity, yet bring forth their own uniqueness to draw you into their story.

Of all the characters, my absolute favorite has to be Seven.  A genetically engineered baby, his poise and intellect, coupled with his innocent banter, inserts a slice of comedic relief, yet a strong sense of empathy for the journey he shares with Bugbee and TheRose. 

While the obvious undertone of the book is one of Earthly preservation and caution for what might occur if we do not treat the planet with more respect, it is also a tale of togetherness, family, and the importance of new friends.  Hilary Shepard has done what many writers can only dream of.  She has formed her reoccurring dreams into a masterpiece, dare I say an instant classic, that is sure to resonate for generations to come. This is a tale that I, as a 36 year old man, enjoy immensely as it tugged at my heart at times, and reminded me of the imaginary journeys I took as a young child.  This is a tale that my youngest daughter, twelve years of age, has become exited to begin reading as I shared with her the beautiful characters within.  This is a tale that I will proudly display on my bookshelf alongside other inspiring authors such as Harper Lee, William Golding, Clive Barker, Charles Day, Peter Giglio, Shannon Michaels, and many more.

This is a book that I highly recommend to any lover of fantasy, sci-fi, and adventure.  Unlike other popular books of similar themes, such as "the Hunger Games" and "the Host", "Shesus" gives us an astounding glimpse at the positive side of a dystopian world, allowing us to glimpse the beauty before the distress and how the journey unfolds.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: David Dean's The Thirteenth Child

When I was given the opportunity to review David Dean's The Thirteenth Child, I was a little giddy to get my hands on the book.  The cover alone was enough to draw me in, it is fantastic!

When I pre-read some reviews, as I anxiously awaited my copy, I was surprised to see praise form Lisa Morton, one of my heroes in the world of horror.  Needless to say, her acceptance of the novel made me want to read it more.  So, when it finally arrived at my doorstep, I ensured that I had some time set aside to dig in.

Although I was not able to read it on one weekend as I had planned, I was anxious for my time to free up and allow me to continue on through the magnificent storytelling inside.  Not only was the storyline believable, but the characters came to life upon the pages, and the creature called Gabriel was more realistic than many of the beasts I have read about in the past.  David Dean pulled off a wonderful feat when he created the words upon each page.  I can only hope I match a fraction of his talent when I finish my first book soon!

"Police Chief Nick Catesby is haunted by the unsolved disappearance of a young boy from his small, peaceful New Jersey town seven years before. The nightmare begins anew when a little girl goes missing, followed quickly by two teenaged boys. Nick has only one suspect, disgraced professor and town drunk Preston Howard, whose arrogance has left him with nothing more than his pride, a sea of whiskey, and his only daughter, with whom Nick is falling in love. Preston insists that he is not a suspect but a witness to a strange and terrifying boy who only appears between dusk and dawn. Nick regards the story as the rantings of an alcoholic, but sightings of the boy lead to a trail of missing and murdered children going back three centuries, Nick and Preston are plunged into a race to save the children of Wessex Township—and the woman they both love."
 If you have not already picked up your copy, I strongly urge you to do so today!  If you have someone in your family that loves a good horror novel, or even a crime novel, this one is for you.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Infendo Radio Episode 282: Family Friendly Rivalries

Welcome one and all to episode 282 of Infendo Radio!
We start the show by discussing our stolen ‘best Nintendo podcast’ slogan. My own Co-Op adventures with Rayman Legends and a quick Wonderful 101 update. Scott Pratt, Harrison Milfeld and myself (Lewis Pugh) then talk the Nintendo News with updates and new Wii U games hitting Kickstarter. Finally finishing on a feature around Nintendo and Kickstarter.

As always please send your listener questions to contact@infendo.com (my mail bag is empty!) and we will discuss them on a future show.
Feel free to add us on Miiverse:
Lewis Pugh: Leuvsion
Scott Pratt: EsselPratt
Harrison Milfeld: HybridMETA
Let us know what you think of the show in the comments below!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Celebrate Life, Despite Grieving the Loss

Too many times we take for granted the people and places around us, without giving a second thought to the impact that they have made.  We all have at least one of those people in our lives, but usually fail to show our appreciation towards their compassion until it is too late.  Whether it be due to not knowing how to show our gratitude, maybe the person would rather not be glorified for something they deem to be a part of their duty, or our busy lives just prevent us from devoting the time to show our thanks, deep down we know that there is more we can do to celebrate those that impact our lives.

Today, my wife and I heard news of the passing of one of those individuals.  He has helped us through difficult times via various means, and never once allowed us to return the favor.  He was, and still is, a very respectable man within our community, and has built a legacy that I hope can maintain its existence despite his passing.

He leaves behind an amazing family, which not only includes his wife and kids, but also his employees, the patrons that found comfort within his club, and the many bands that serenaded the venue throughout the years.

I know that most of you reading this will not know this man, although his impact on many has been far reached.  For those that do know the fantastic man that has made an impact, I urge you to not only grieve his loss, but more importantly celebrate his life.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Editors, The Unsung Heroes!

You work through the depths of your imagination and discover the perfect tale hidden deep between your thoughts of love lost, and the time you forgot to wear pants to school.  Over the next few days, weeks, even months, you write until your hand stiffens with cramps.  After a few edits of your own, you check it over one more time before sending it off to the publisher for approval.

Then it hits you...the publisher accepts the story, and the editor gets to work on ripping your masterpiece to shreds.  You receive the suggested revisions back and gasp.  How could he or she be so evil and rude to dismantle all of your hard work?

Okay, let's face it.  Many writers go through the emotions above when accepted into an anthology, magazine, or as a new novelist.  However, despite being hit in the head with reality, your story needed some work.  As a writer, it is very easy to overlook our mistakes and the fluff that adds words to the page. 

We have to remember that the editor is there to help us.  He or she might come off as rude or blunt, and that is okay.  In fact, I would rather be told of my errors flat out, rather than receive a sugar coated revision that does my story no justice.  An editor's job is basically to give us writers some bad news.  They don't have the glory (usually) of presenting us with the golden contract and promise of publication.  They give us the harsh reality of what we need to accomplish to achieve publication.

Sure, there are some editors out there that give the others a bad name.  They might charge a writer to edit the work that they want to publish, essentially taking away from any promised royalties (assuming  there are royalties).  Some will charge to edit work with promises of publication after being paid, but have no real contacts with publishers.  Those are the editors that deserve the chastising that we so often give the legitimate editors that want to help us out.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to work with two very amazing editors.  I should be working with a third very soon.  My experience with them has been nothing but positive, resulting in submissions that were much more solid than I could ever have imagined.  So, I want to take this opportunity to thank both of those editors (you know who you are), and praise their work that so often gets tossed avoided like cooties. 

Remember, an editor is there to help you out, not hold you back!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Infendo Radio Episode 281: Welcome to the Nintendo News!

Infendo Radio is back, once again and we have another amazing show for you!  This week, Scott "Essel" Pratt, Harrison Milfeld, Lewis Pugh, and Holly Fellmeth skip the fluff and talk about the current news.
Topics such as the 2DS, a Wii U price cut, Windwaker HD edition Wii U, and Mighty No. 9 will flow through your ears.  I sort of feel bad because a couple of us kept talking, without giving poor Holly a chance to speak.  The next episode we will surely give her the floor.

Give the show a listen, and share your thoughts, views, question, and input below!  Don't forget to subscribe to us on iTunes and leave us a comment/rating there.  Of course, we are still accepting reader mail via tips@infendo.com


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Guest Spot On The Evil Jester Podcast

Last night I had the honor of being a guest on The Evil Jester Podcast, with host Charles Day, his minion The Evil Jester.  The other guests were the amazing Bram Stoker Award winning Joe McKinney and the always entertaining Bill Zombie Zak Snider.

In the chat room, it was a blast chatting with Taylor Grant and Tommy B. Smith.

We chatted a little about ourselves and what we have been working on, but a good deal of the discussion was centered around our writing methods.  To outline, or not to outline, that was the question.  When you have a spare hour, be sure to give the show a listen and share your writing methods in the comments below. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Infendo Radio Episode 280: Rock and Organics

Sadly, I was not able to attend this episode of Infendo Radio due to an already overflowing schedule. However, Lewis and Harrison were given the opportunity to welcome back our old friend Holly! Holly was a writer for Infendo when I first started writing for the site and it really was sad to see her go!

I look forward to rejoining the next podcast, as we rebrand the Fab Four of the Nintendo Community!

Of Course, don't forget to find us on Itunes and give us a star rating to show us how much you care!  You can also leave any questions and/or comments below, you might just get a shout out on an upcoming show!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Affleck and Batman and other Super Hero Thoughts

Over the past few days, the internet has been aflutter with news that Ben Affleck has been chosen as the new Batman.   While there are more important items to focus on in the news, sometimes insignificant stories such as this are needed to break the monotony of terrible things we often see in the news.

So, I thought I would humor the news and share my thoughts and views on his selection, as well as some of the past superhero decisions.  Since we are talking about Ben Affleck, let's start out with Daredevil.  Now, I thought the Daredevil movie was okay.  It was not mind blowing, and it was not horrible, just okay...  For me, Ben did a pretty good job, but the movie itself was not the best portrayal of his character.  If Daredevil were made now, within the new Marvel Movie Universe, I think we would see a movie of a much higher caliper.  Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, and Wolverine have all set the groundwork for a believable universe in which to reintroduce the characters that failed to captivate the past audiences.

Even an attempt to bring us DC's Green Lantern was not an utter failure.  I actually enjoyed Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan.  Sure, he was not as serious as I would have wanted him to be, but he played the role well.  I do see him more as Deadpool, which he would undoubtedly be amazing at.

One thing I have learned from growing up with comic books, and some of you comic living friends may be able to back me up here, is that the heroes (and villains) did not always choose their destine, fate did.  Many of them were unlikely heroes, Spiderman is a great example.  From the outside, he was just an ordinary kid, nothing special except his intellect, and happened to be in the right place at the right time.  No one would have ever guessed that there was anything spectacular or amazing about him.  But there was, and he made a huge difference in the Marvel Universe.

If characters in a comic can be portrayed by those that do not "fit the bill" as a superhero, why can't real life actors play characters that seem an inconceivable fit?  In my opinion, choosing Ben Affleck as Batman is a great choice.  Visually, he is believable.  His voice is a match (with some voice coaching, his ridiculed Boston accent can be gone).  Everything about him screams that he fits the role, especially since he is not a likely choice.

When young Bruce Wayne witnessed the unforgiving murder of his parents, he was in no shape to make a decision to dress like a caricature of a bat and rid Gotham of inconceivable villains, the likes the world had never seen.  No, he took his anger, his hate, his sadness, and his hope for a better future and evolved into the hero that he as become.  The super villains just sort of came along with time.  Bruce's evolution was not exactly planned, instead it was a process that our unlikely character slowly transitioned through.  That is why Ben Affleck will be a good fit for Batman, he is not the choice of the masses, yet he will fit in fine.

The only issue I have with Ben Affleck as Batman is summed up in one question.  How long will he be willing to portray the caped crusader?  Too often, especially with Batman; Superman; and Spiderman, we see multiple characters take the role for short periods of time.  For the sake of continuity we need someone that is in it for the long hall.  This is why I am happy that they did not include Spiderman in the Avengers (ignoring the fact that Spiderman is a FOX franchise at the moment).  If we are to create a believable universe, we need continuity.  It is my hope that Ben Affleck will eventually be accepted by the masses, but even more so, I hope he is in it for the long haul.  If we have a glimmer of hope for the Justice League to become just as amazing as the Avengers, and for DC to find its imprint in the Cinematic World as Marvel has, we need to see believable characters that grow within their roles and mesh well with the rest of the universe.  Not to mention that they need to stay true to the origins of the comics.  (Notice I did not mention X-Men in here anywhere....sigh, they started out okay, but after the third it went downhill.  I hope the next one brings things back into line).

In closing, I feel that the negative hype about Ben Affleck is not warranted.  Forget who he is, let's see who he becomes.  We did it with Heath Ledger and Michael Keaton, and both absorbed themselves into their roles, becoming icons for generations to come.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What is a Writer?

Recently, I was witness to a discussion/debate over what it means to be a professional writer or a hobbyist.  As I read through the discussion, I started to wonder.  Does it really matter if you are a professional, a hobbyist, or anything else?  Really, it is almost like comparing someone that writes only short stories instead of full novels.  Is one really better than the other?

In my opinion, a writer is a writer.  It doesn't matter if he or she writes fiction, non fiction, technical manuals, or anything else for that matter, as long as you have a love and passion for your literary art form, then an ranking title is meaningless.

In my opinion, someone that casually writes can be just as successful, maybe more, than someone that writes professionally for a living.  So, does that make the casual writer less important than the professional, I don't think so.

An important portion of the publication industry is the indie publishers.  Many of those indie publishers release books, and anthologies, filled with unknown writers.  I was lucky enough to find one of those indie publishers for my first short story, Rainstorm Press.  I have two published short stories with them.  My next publisher was Cruentus Libri Press, which also accepted two short stories.  I also have one more that is scheduled for release on October 30th from Nightscape Press.  If not for theses publishers that had some faith in my writing, I would never have gotten my name out in front of the masses.

Someone that writes a story, a epic journey, a short tale, or even flash fiction is a writer.  In my opinion, they may not even need to be good at it, as long as they have a passion to share that story with everyone.   We see this all the time in fan fiction.  However, I have met some fantastic writers that have grasped onto those that are not the best at expressing their ideas, and have mentored them into a much better crafter of their tale.  Those are the writers that I feel should deserve the extra attention, those that take the time away from their busy schedule to help guide another through the ins and outs of their writing.  It is those that I tip my hat.

However, as with any profession, there are always those that tend to apply ranks within the professional ladder.  According to those ranks, I may only be a hobbyist, but that doesn't bother me at all.  As with any job I have been passionate about, I have worked my way through the ranks and have become successful.  I will do the same with my writing career.

Feel free to share in the comments below, if you agree or not.  And why?  But please, let's not start an argument over why someone may, or may not be deserving of their title.  Instead, take the opportunity to connect and help each other out within the craft we are so passionate about.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Infendo Radio Is In Full Force!

As some of you may be aware, I am a co-host of Infendo radio alongside Harrison Milfeld and Lewis Pugh.  Our focus is mainly Nintendo centric, however we do discuss other gaming companies that impact Nintendo and the gaming industry as a whole.

After a bit of reorganizing, restructuring, and re-imagining, we are back in full force!  We have cut some of the fat in an attempt to present you with an informational and opinionated podcast that will entice our listeners and tickle their gaming fancy. 

Our newest podcast is currently available for your listening pleasure at Infendo.com as well as Itunes!  We encourage you to share your thoughts on the Infendo post, you might even get a shout out on the podcast! More importantly, we urge you to subscribe to our iTunes feed to show your support.

Coming in October, nominations for the podcast awards will be open, it would be amazing if some of you would share your love for Infendo Radio with a nomination shout out (Insert shameless plug smile here).

For those of you that have not yet experienced our podcast, check out our latest episode.  If you like it, be sure to share with your friends, co-workers, and everyone else you know!  Be sure to rate us on iTunes, and maybe share your rating and itunes comment with us!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Knight Stalkers, A Contest, And Some Amazing Reads!

Are you a Knight Stalker?  Maybe you are, or maybe you have not had the opportunity to become one.  Now is your chance!

Being a Knight Stalker is fairly easy, you just need to love a good horror book, and share your passion with others around you, oh...and liking SB Knight would not hurt!

SB Knight is the author of such books as Born of Blood, Drago's Revenge, and Demathia Rising (Click the links at the bottom to find out more about these works of genius).  He is also the Author of Game of Straws, which is currently free on Amazon (Kindle).  You can also get a free kindle version of his book Sampler, which contains the first three chapters of
Born of Blood, Drago's Revenge, and Demathia Rising! (link Below).  The freebies only last from July 26th through July 29th, so be sure to act fast!  You can also like his facebook Page (highly recommended) and leave a comment there, or on his blog, or even his Youtube channel, to be entered for a prize!  The prizes will be announces on his Facebook page soon.  Just leave my name in the comment to qualify for the prize!

So, other than writing some amazing books, what is so special about SB Knight?  Well, for starters, he is an overall amazing guy that cares about his fans...no...that isn't right, because his fans are actually friends to him.  So, you don't get to be just another fan, you get to be his friend.  He is very active with his Knight Stalkers, and shows his appreciation in many ways.  When you become a Knight Stalker, you are not joining a fan-club, you are finding a group of friends with similar interests.  It isn't often that you find an Author that is willing to get to know his fans on a personal basis, let alone respond back to a question or comment.  His interactions have made me a fan for life, and someone I look up to. 

Go ahead and check out his books below, download the two that are currently free for the Kindle, and purchase the others, because you know they will be good!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I am overjoyed to announce that I was recently accepted into Blood Type: An Anthology of Vampire SF on the Cutting Edge.  This is an anthology that I submitted to quite a while ago, with a story that I really grew to love.  In fact, I could see it becoming a full length novel, and possibly a series some day. 

All net proceeds from sales of this anthology will go to The Cystic Fibrosis Trust.  The theme of this anthology is the perfect match for such an amazing organization.

Within this collection, I am honored to stand alongside such greats as William F. Nolan, Peter Giglio, Mike Resnik, Taylor Grant, and many more. 

The scheduled release date is October 31st, 2013, however I will be sure to communicate any updates as they are available

Table of Contents:
  1. The Undying by William F. Nolan**
  2. Taxing Youth by Rebecca Brown
  3. The Souls of Stars by Amelia Mangan
  4. Evergreen by Peter Giglio
  5. Reptile House by Stephen Graham Jones*
  6. Accommodation by Michael R. Collings*
  7. A Little Night Music by Mike Resnick*
  8. Predators of Tomorrow by Michael Kamp
  9. Mountains of Ice by Jilly Paddock
  10. Occupation by James Ninness
  11. Orientation Day by Peter Watts 
  12. The Pilot by Jason Duke
  13. Unperished by S.R. Algernon
  14. Eudora by James S. Dorr
  15. A River of Blood, Carried into the Abyss by John Palisano
  16. Better for Burning by H.E. Roulo 
  17. I Was There... by Tarl Hoch
  18. Strays by Robert S. Wilson
  19. Damned to Life by Essel Pratt
  20. Happy Hour by GN Braun
  21. Temporary Measures by Jay Wilburn
  22. I, Vampire by David N. Smith & Violet Addison
  23. Slave Arm by Laird Barron
  24. Gods and Devils by Taylor Grant
  25. 17 by Jonathan Templar
  26. Chrysalis by Jason V. Brock
  27. Data Suck by Benjamin Kane Ethridge
  28. Sun Hungry by Tim Waggoner
  29. Wet Heavens by Brian Fatah Steele

Monday, July 15, 2013

Horror-tica Avaialble Today!

Released today, Horror-tica is a fantastic collection of short stories in the Erotic Horror category.  My submission, Blood Lust, is my first journey into the sub genre of horror.

The publisher, Cruentus Libri Press, describes the book as follows:

"The point of a tongue licks its way across full, red lips. They part, showing perfect white teeth. The mouth opens wider, the better for kissing...or biting? Cruentus Libri Press is pleased to bring you sixteen tales of erotic horror fiction, intended to quicken your pulse and stop your heart at the same time. These stories of sex and death will either chill you to the bone, are get your blood boiling...perhaps both. Horror-tica features stories from some of the world's finest horror writers, including Aaron Runyon, Jennifer Loring, Kimber Vale, Chris Roberston, Essel Pratt, Joseph A. Pinto, Naching T. Kassa, Jody Neil Ruth, Kevin G. Bufton, Matt Moody, Brandon Cracraft and Anah Rose, Jay Wilburn, Deb Eskie, Ken Goldman, Allen Dusk and Sheri White."

This is definitely a book that you will want to add to your horror collection!  Be sure to check out Horror-tica and other books that I am published in by clicking the links below.